Disney Plus Already Has 26.5 Million Paid Subscribers
When Disney announced their fourth quarter financial numbers this week, they also revealed their paid subscriber count on the new subscription service, Disney+. At the end of 2019 — which means after just six weeks of streaming to the public — Disney+ had 26.5 million paid subscribers.
While THR notes that Disney counted a paid subscriber “as any user for which it recognizes subscription revenue, which means it considers people bundling the service for a discounted price as subscribers,” this is still an impressive number for any streaming service that is less than two months old, and not yet available worldwide:
Disney+ launched on Nov. 12 with much fanfare, including an elaborate marketing push that plastered adds for the service and tentpole original series The Mandalorian across bus stops, cruise ships and Disneyland theme parks. Demand was so great on launch day that many people faced technical difficulties when they tried to sign up and stream programming, prompting Disney to issue a statement saying that the interest had ‘exceeded our high expectations.’ The following day, Disney revealed that the service already had signed up 10 million subscribers.
For comparison’s sake, Netflix has about 167 million subscribers worldwide. But it has been around for years — and is available in many more countries than Disney+ at the moment.
The big question for Disney+ moving forward is how well it maintains these numbers. When it launched, Disney+ had the live-action Star Wars series The Mandalorian as its big marquee title. As that show ended around the beginning of 2020, Disney+ had nothing to replace it as an anchor to draw in new customers and maintain its old ones. It will be months before Marvel’s Disney+ series begin airing on the service some time in the fall. (We still don’t have an official launch date for the first, The Falcon and the Winter Soldier.) The new season of The Mandalorian doesn’t start until then either.
Even with its impressive catalog of Disney, Lucasfilm, and Marvel library titles, that may not be enough for people to keep paying $7 a month — at least until some fresh content gets added. Still, 26.5 million is an impressive start.
Gallery — The Best Animated Shorts Available on Disney+: